One of the primary concerns regarding the decision of former Steelers linebacker James Harrison to join the Patriots is that Harrison can carry secrets to his new team. Former teammate Bud Dupree wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Harrison carried the Pittsburgh playbook to New England.
Regardless of whether Harrison will be helping his new team if/when its preparing to face his old team through memory or something more tangible, Patriots coach Bill Belichick used his on-to-Cincinnati focus to avoid answering questions about how Harrison could help New England beat Pittsburgh, again.
On Wednesday, Belichick was asked by reporters whether Belichick puts “any stock into the fact that [Harrison] could provide valuable intelligence given his familiarity with the Steelers and their system.”
“Well, we’re playing the Jets this week,” Belichick said. “I don’t really know what that has to do with it. Maybe I’m missing something. I don’t know.”
“What about looking ahead to any possible matchups in the playoffs?”
“Well, we play the Jets this week,” Belichick said.
And there’s the difference between Bill Belichick and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Last month, Tomlin was willing to look ahead to not one but two future games against the Patriots. Belichick won’t even publicly entertain the possibility of playing Pittsburgh at any point in the future.
Privately, however, Belichick surely knows it’s possibly coming. And with Steelers players teeing off on Harrison for his antics before he was cut, Harrison will now have even greater motivation to empty his brain for Belichick, if/when the Steelers are the team the Patriots will be playing next.